Guide to the Albemarle Hotel Register MS 14
Finding aid prepared by Jennifer HoCollection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.
San Diego History Center Document CollectionMay 9, 2011
1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA, 92101
Title: Albemarle Hotel Register
Identifier/Call Number: MS 14
Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 1.5 Linear feet (1 box)
Date (inclusive): 1888 October 18-1889 March 27
Abstract: The collection consists of a guest register for the Albemarle Hotel for the dates October 18, 1888 through March 27, 1889.
creator: Albemarle Hotel.
This collection is open for research.
The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.
Collection processed by Jennifer Ho on May 9, 2011.
Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.
The Albemarle Hotel was built in 1888, during a brief economic boom, on the corner of Front Street and Broadway in downtown San Diego. The hotel billed itself as a family hotel, but was popular with officers of the ships docked at the nearby bay, as well as traveling performance and comedy troupes. The hotel suffered financial hardship and eventually came under the ownership of Ben Hill, a rancher from El Cajon who later became sheriff.
There is a popular story connected to the hotel of “The Itata Affair.” A Chilean revolutionary, who was an officer on the docked ship Itata, took a room at the Albemarle. The hotel staff and guests heard muffled yells from his room, whereupon forcing the door open, they discovered the officer trapped in the folding bed. The bed had simply malfunctioned, but the officer was convinced it was part of a political plot.
The Albemarle Hotel register, manufactured by the Pacific Coast Hotel Register Company of San Francisco, dates from October 18, 1888 through March 27, 1889. Each page of the register lists the guests’ name, residence, room number and time. The 'time' column is filled with the letters B, L, D, R or M for each guest, possibly noting breakfast (B), lunch (L), dinner (D), and maid service (M). There is an advertisement for the San Francisco Chronicle at the foot of each register page. Every other register page is a blotter page which consists of the same advertisement for Peruvian Bitters and the San Francisco Examiner. Hotel guests traveled from across the United States, and as far away as Canada, Mexico, England, and Scotland. Some notable local guests were Milton Santee and James Balfour, as well as the Californian writer Charles B. Turrill. A number of traveling performance artists were registered as guests, including Haverly’s Mastodon Minstrels, Atkinson’s Comedy Company, Augustin Daly’s Comedy, Eunice Goodrich Company, and Sells Brothers and Barrett’s Circus.
The pages in the register are arranged chronologically.
Albemarle Hotel Register, MS 14, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.
Register is warped and discolored. Some blotter pages are torn. (July 19, 2011)
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Atkinson's Comedy Company.
Augustin Daly's Comedy.
Eunice Goodrich Company.
Haverly's Mastodon Minstrels.
Turrill, Charles B.
Hotels -- California
San Diego (Calif.)
Hotel register, 1888 October 18-1889 March 27
Haverly’s Mastodon Minstrels recorded as guests on October 18, 1888.
Eunice Goodrich Company recorded as guests on November 16, 1888.
James Balfour recorded as guest on November 16, 1888.
Milton Santee recorded as guest on November 16, 1888.
Charles B. Turrill recorded as guest on November 29, 1888.
Atkinson’s Comedy Company recorded as guests on November 30, 1888.
Augustin Daly’s Comedy recorded as guests on February 16, 1889.